3 Quality Designs For Your Customer Reviews Page
Editors Note: Originally written in 2015, much of Peter’s original advice is as relevant today as the day this post was originally published. We’ve made a few additions, so even if you read this post back in 2015 it is worth another read.
Potential customers are checking you out online. They want to know what other people think so they turn to sites like Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Angie’s List and Yelp.
Are these sites telling the whole story? Partly. Give your website its own reviews page to show the sentiment of your most satisfied customers. Even increase engagement and conversion with reviews! Increase all the buzzwords! Right. For me, it’s all about building trust and credibility by showing the real benefits experienced by your real customers. It’s making visitors say, “I want what they have,” and calling you. How do you do that? What does it look like? I’ll give you my three best ideas.
How to Use Reviews to Improve Your Business
Let’s get something out of the way.
You’re not posting negative reviews on your own website. What we’re doing here really falls under the word testimonials. Rave reviews. Most of the time, these are short nuggets of sunshine from your favorite customers. It’s hard to get someone to write 300 words of praise. Far more likely to get a favorable sentence or two. Nobody wants to read a book about your greatness anyway.
But They Do Want to Know Your Fans When you’ve got short form content, go for broke with quantity. Pick 15-20 of your best 50 word reviews and list them one-by-one down the reviews page. Include a picture of the reviewer floated to the left or right. You could even link to their company site or social media account for more credibility.
Pagely did a good job with this approach.
They’ve sourced the reviewer pictures from the individual social media profiles, resulting in some inconsistent image quality on those. As you’re building your own collection of reviews, ask customers if you can take their picture. You’ll be asking to use their words anyway, so why not get a snapshot? If they don’t want a picture taken, use a nice icon of a chat bubble instead. WordPress users have a ton of tools to make building testimonials easy. Find out how Pagely built theirs with the Testimonials Slider WordPress plugin.
Like Pinterest, but Just Compliments About You Listing those short blurbs is a great way to show what people say about you. But if you want an even easier design, dispense with the image, forget about word count and tile ’em all like Pinterest
. The main advantage here is the option for variety. You may have short blurbs and long ones you’d feel bad cutting down. Mix them in together with a responsive grid that lets them flow in one one stream. For an example, see the reviews for Tish Flooring.
Same Thing, but Videos They say people don’t read anymore. Young people are only functionally literate. The novel is dead. I’m like, really? All of that’s been true since at least 1980. Thanks MTV. What will people do? Watch the new MTV: YouTube. Plan now to add video testimonials to your marketing budget. These videos feature real customers at their real home or place of business, describing the benefits of working with you. Pro
Tips: Let your customer write the script, you have creative control as the editor. Get a $20 tripod and shoot the video on your phone or digital camera. Use a video production service like Candidio to add professional-level polish. Once the goods are in hand, embed them on their own page
Counting Dollars AND Stars The other thing you might be interested in is starred reviews. Think Amazon reviews. No pictures, just stars, names and reviews, sometimes long, sometimes short. But since you’re hosting this party at your place, you moderate the content. Everyone’s invited to submit their own review, but there’s no 1-star slam-fests unless you let them in.
This design is harder to find on small business websites and untested. I’ve never made a reviews page like this before, straight-up. But it’s intriguing, isn’t it? Amazon and the others have taught everyone to look for stars. We’re comfortable with that. Makes sense you’d want to create that same comfort level on your own site.
How to Get Customer Reviews
Now that you’ve downloaded my three best ideas for showing customer reviews, what’s next? Get the reviews. But don’t ask for them. Yelp actively discourages business owners from soliciting reviews. Their explanation is interesting and I agree with the spirit. Leaving a review is an opt-in activity. You can never force it. Make giving a review optional. Send a follow-up email when you’re done with instructions for reviewing. Place a button on your reviews page that opens up a review form. Put the best ones on your site.
Check out Entrepreneur’s “How to Effectively Use Testimonials” for a good primer on what makes a good one. Testimonials and reviews sound like your customers. They’re written how people really speak, unvarnished. Build trust and credibility with real-life examples of your product or service’s benefits. A reviews page is your chance to tell the whole story. How will you design it?
need help building your review page?
Why should you add a customer reviews page to your website?
There are several important reasons to add customer reviews to your website.
1) Builds credibility with prospective customers.
2) Unlike third-party sites, you can control which reviews are shared
3) Reviews contain relevant keywords in natural language which will help your website rank for your core services.